2015-2016 Awards!

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2015-2016 Awards!

As we await our fates, it might be nice to dish awards out to programs for this past cycle. I just copied last years post, feel free to add. T-minus 4 days...

Biggest surprise:
Biggest disappointment: 
Best food: 
Worst food: 
Best organized: 
Worst organized: 
Best interview: 
Worst interview: 
Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment:
Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course):

I'll start us off!

Biggest surprise: Baylor. I'm not from Texas so I wasn't expecting too much from this place but it wowed me. It has the nicest VA I've ever seen. Also, Texas Medical Center is just crazy huge. Residents here get such great experience it seemed.
Biggest disappointment: WashU. Seemed like great training but I got a weird vibe from them. Some of the faculty seemed to talk down to us.
Best food: UNC. Southern BBQ for lunch! yes.
Worst food: UChicago ran out of apps real quick at dinner. But their thai lunch was bomb
Best organized: UWashington. Great morning with plenty of breaks between interviews and some of us were out right after lunch.
Worst organized: UCSD fell behind and applicants waited around for hours
Best interview: Ross at UNC. She was ridiculously nice as was every other interviewer there
Worst interview: Scales at Duke. Basically told me he doesn't like letting residents operate because the patients come to see him, not us. so awkward
Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: taking shots at the Indiana dinner with the residents was a great way to end the day




Surprise: Oklahoma - I know OU has been on the upward trend but the Chair and PD were great and OKC is a better place to live than I imagined. 

Disappointment: Duke - Every single one of my interviews were spent justifying the research year. If I'm here, I'm ok with the research year. I knew you had it before I came. 

Food: Kansas - I'm a sucker for BBQ and theirs was good. 

Best organized: Emory - Even though the coordinator is a bit nutty, the interview day was well organized. Really any place that had multiple 15 min interviews and was able to stay on schedule was money. 

Worst organized: Kentucky - Although I love Donkey Kong, any time you are playing it with the residents while waiting to be interviewed you can be pretty sure the program is just winging it. 

Best interview: Dr. Keegan at Vanderbilt - He was cooler than the other side of the pillow. The fact that he is running the VA was a HUGE selling point for me. 

Worst: Every interview at Louisville - I got the vibe they were trying to talk me out of going to Louisville. 

Worst moment: Sleeping through my alarm and showing up an hour late to an interview. 

Best moment: Any time an airport allowed me to stream Netflix. 

I always enjoyed reading

I always enjoyed reading these a couple years ago, so I'll add in.

Biggest surprise: mayo Jacksonville. The residents were some of the most cohesive and down to earth I had met. Training and lifestyle are great.
Biggest disappointment: Loyola. Had heard so many great things but 5th year is research and I got a very uninterested vibe from the faculty. And the commute sucks.
Best food: Kansas-KC BBQ and local beer for pre-dinner was awesome. Indiana's lunch is up there too.
Worst food: any place that gave lame sandwiches, or didn't have lunch at all.
Best organized: places that split into morning and afternoon sessions-Brown, William Beaumont, BU

Worst organized: Iowa. Some people had 2 hour breaks between interviews and, while starting at 11am was nice, going until 7pm was not.
Best interview: O'Connor at MCW. Very down to Earth and funny interview.
Worst interview: A certain attending at UWash. I said I had visited Seattle before and would love to live there and he basically took that as the only reason I was there.
Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: back to back to back flights are the worst. After interview dinners are the best without having any pressure.
Notable Applicant Stories: always funny to hear the folk lore of the applicant that had a d measuring contest with an attending 

Anonymous (not verified)
Yeah I always liked reading

Yeah I always liked reading these too so I'll contribute.

Biggest surprise: Miami. I wasn't sure what to expect going in but it seemed like a very strong program clinically and the residents were super fun to hang out with.
Biggest disappointment: Penn. Great program, but it was such a turn off to be told to come back and do a second look at the end of every interview and the not so subtle message that we had to tell them we were ranking them #1.
Best food: Agree with Kansas and KC bbq. UTSW also had great food, some Greek place the night before which was quite good despite not being what I would think of when it comes to Texas food, and then bbq for lunch.
Worst food: I'm not complaining if I'm given food, but Duke ran out of food way too quickly.
Best organized: UTSW, something like 12 interviews but even with those and the virtual tour, you were done by lunch. 
Worst organized: UCSD. Don't tell applicants the day is scheduled to end at 5pm and then have interviews scheduled until 6:00. I'll give them credit though, the PC reworked people's schedules to help them make their flights.
Best interview: Cherullo at Case and Routh at Duke. Just super easy people to talk to.
Worst interview: Ogan at Emory, asked us what our number 1 was of the places we interviewed at which threw me off a bit. All of the Mt. Sinai faculty, not sure what happened but I didn't feel like any of them liked talking to me and all of my interviews ended awkwardly.
Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: Racking up the largest airport bar tab I've ever had while stranded in the airport for >12 hours thanks to snow.
Notable Applicant Stories: I wish I had some good ones but maybe we were a bunch of nerds this year.

Uroflow16's picture

Biggest surprise: Henry Ford. I had never been to Detroit and had my doubts, but they seem to have a pretty good thing going.
Biggest disappointment: Loyola - Didn't know it was so far away from Chicago and no one seemed to have read my application at the interview. 
Best food: University of Minnesota lunch- Great view of the city and it was nice not eating something out of a box. University of Rochester dinner - the whole menu was ordered for us, really friendly residents.
Worst food: Duke pre-interview dinner. Heavy apps and drink tickets ran out real quick.
Best organized: Henry Ford - was the only program that offered a hotel the night before along with good shuttles
Worst organized: UCSD- just a terribly long day
Best interview: Dr. Mayer at Baylor was awesome. He really knew my application and was excited to talk to me about it. 
Worst interview: One of the older interviewers at Baylor looked like he fell asleep while I was answering his question.  
Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: Getting stuck in Denver because of a blizzard and having to pay $120 to Uber to a hotel at 3am because the only thing available was UberX. At least there was beer in the car. 
Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course): Saw someone puke in the bathroom at a pre-interview dinner. Definitely want that person to be my co-resident.

Anonymous (not verified)
Biggest surprise: Vermont --

Biggest surprise: Vermont -- Amazing chair/program director, great vibe from residents, and Burlington's a really nice town in a beautiful part of the country  
Biggest disappointment: Lahey -- residents were cool but I had way too many faculty tools on my interview day
Best food: UC Davis dinner was pretty good
Worst food: I wish MUSC would step up their dinner game given that they are in one of the best food towns in the country (we were in a hotel conference room with crappy apps)
Best organized: As someone said above, anywhere with separate AM or PM sessions; Maine Med seemed particularly efficient
Worst organized: UCSD -- interviews started way too late, day was way too long 
Best interview: Litwin at UCLA was a phenomenal guy to talk to; Plante at Vermont basically makes everyone feel like they walk on water, and that's tough to beat as well
Worst interview: Interviewer asking me to name my Top 3 and not allowing anything less than an explicit answer (and any other variations of this question along the trail)
Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: I really enjoyed hanging out with all of the people I met along the trail-- for a season filled with stress and anxiety, I had a damn good time thanks to a lot of you
Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course): I heard about someone's interesting experience involving a $30 AirBnB and a shady guy with a peg-leg; sadly, nothing too outrageous at any dinners/interviews 

Anonymous (not verified)
Biggest surprise: MCW. Great

Biggest surprise: MCW. Great program, great residents, well-ran interview day with good interviews... plus plenty of spotted cow beer the night before and a bus tour of Milwaukee in which the program paid for us to get a coffee at a coffee shop on Lake Michigan.

Biggest disappointment: WashU. Tough to pin my finger on it, but there were some rough interviews in which faculty managed to not so subtly speak down to me, it also seemed like the program was selling itself really hard on the name value and not what they actually had to offer. Either way, I was surprised at how low on my rank list this program fell.

Best food: Indiana's chicken fingers.

Worst food: Iowa. It was a good interview season when I'm complaining about catered deli sandwiches.

Best organized: Mayo-Rochester. Interview day ended at noon with just enough interviews that lasted just long enough.

Worst organized: University of AZ. Nobody knew when the interview day was actually done and we could all leave.

Best interview: Schwartz at SIU. Great guy, great conversation, knew my application well and not only sold me on the program but offered plenty of great advice and inspiration.

Worst interview: A faculty at WashU told me that my favorite movie was "bullshit."

Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: Accidentally emailed a thank you to the wrong program director.

Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course): I heard that an applicant showed up to a night before, pre-interview meal in their short white coat.

Anonymous (not verified)

Biggest surprise: MCW - great faculty and residents. the tour of the city was really fun
Biggest disappointment: Minnesota - way too many rapid fire interviews with dumb repetitive questions. they did give out t shirts though
Best food: KC without a doubt
Worst food: MUSC which was extremely disappointing considering the city has amazing food
Best organized: Colorado or Florida 
Worst organized: Iowa - love the program and the people but interviewing all day was brutal. then had to go straight from the interview to the dinner
Best interview: O'Connor at MCW is a boss. really fun to talk to and just a laid back guy. Penson at Vanderbilt was a close second
Worst interview: Unnamed faculty at OSU. called one of my research projects useless even though it was accepted for a AUA presentation
Worst Overall Interview Season Moment: Getting stuck in Denver airport watching all the flights get canceled because of the snow
Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course): Went out with a big group of applicants in Charleston and drank way too much. Almost puked on the morning flight home though. We had a fun group this season. 

Anonymous (not verified)
And the winners (for me) are...!

Biggest surprise: I think I was equally surprised with Oklahoma and Connecticut! Oklahoma seems like a very up and coming program with lots of enthusiastic young attendings as well as more well known experienced ones. Connecticut is a small but solid program with a very dedicated Chair/Program Director.

Biggest disappointment: Wake Forest. I liked Winston-Salem and the residents, and I was really enjoying the day up until the interview... some attendings came off as condescending and even outright malignant during my interview! So disappointing.

Best food: For dinner, anywhere that served dessert -- usually those places had 3 course menus with lots of delicious choices! Immediate ones that come to mind are Mayo Rochester, UVA, and Akron. For breakfast, Rush had a full spread with bacon/sausage, eggs, and tater tots! They also had real silverware! For lunch, anywhere that didn't serve sandwiches... Henry Ford had these delicious potato pancakes in an assorted buffet (I gorged myself on those things...)

Worst food: Case dinner before wasn't really dinner... it was finger food appetizers. They were tasty, but mostly fried, so my stomach was somewhat unhappy afterward from all the grease.

Best organized: Both Akron and Henry Ford paid for the hotel (both were pretty nice hotels) and provided great shuttle service. They both also ran completely on time, which was a huge plus. I also agree with an above comment on Emory... their coordinator is quirky but super on top of things.

Worst organized: Iowa. Starts at 11 am, which is nice... but ends at 7 pm, which is too late to get a flight out for an interview the next day. :( Also I sat around and waited for over an hour between interviews... it was just scheduled that way.

Best interview: There were lots, but once the interviewer and I made a plan to form an acappella group if I matched with his program... because I like to sing, and he can beatbox! Yeah, an attending who beatboxes. Super cool.

Worst interview: Wake Forest getting absolutely grilled on politics. I'm a doctor, not a politician!

Best Overall Interview Season Moment: My last interview dinner, I knew every applicant at the table. It was literally eating a free dinner with friends! I've loved meeting everyone on the trail and I'm really happy to be joining the urology world with you all!

Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course): Every time I tried to get to the airport with fellow applicants, it became a story (but actually, every time). Most fun was speeding (for real speeding) down the highway in a rental red Volkswagen bug with 4 of us plus all of our luggage and stopping at a gas station that "ran out of gas." I felt like we were in a clown car...! Nothing scandalous this year, though.

Anonymous 2 (not verified)

*Happy to match, and relieved to stop the hemorrhaging from my bank account.

Biggest surprise: Medical College of Wisconsin - An incredibly nice and welcoming faculty with a resident group that is hilarious and genuinely friendly/cohesive, awesome clinical experience, and a tour of Milwaukee led by one of the chiefs that had us all laughing the entire time. 
Biggest disappointment: UPENN - Cramped pre-dinner without enough food, a couple of snide remarks from aloof interviewers, a few more remarks from multiple interviewers along the lines of "if you want to come here, you basically have to do a 2nd look"; fairly negative experience overall
Best food: UT Knoxville - Filet mignon at an incredible restaurant and a selection of gourmet apps + flowing ETOH - awesome 
Worst food: Iowa - Greasy bar apps laid out for everyone's fingers to pick through
Best organized: Mayo Jacksonville - Free hotel and incredibly streamlined interviews got us out to lunch on the beach by 12:30
Worst organized: Texas AM/Scott and White - Sitting in a clinic patient room for 20 mins waiting for the doc to finish up with patients before he could find time to interview me + an incredibly awkward 10 minute applicant-group interview, pretty miserable 
Best interview: UCSD -  A certain pumped up attending said "come here if you want to kick ass and take names" / U of Florida - Dr. Suh is the man, nicest guy, and shared so much excitement about the program
Worst interview: UPENN - one particular resident group interview while some sat in cubicles staring at computers typing notes while asking questions, or not asking them at all
Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: Touring a couple of famous golf courses and running into a few professional players along the way; meeting the chair-man, the myth, the legend Dr. Thiel at Mayo Jax; and shenanigans with incredible applicants throughout the trail

Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course): What even happened down at LSU...



Biggest surprise: VCU is an awesome program across the board
Biggest disappointment: Baylor is a fantastic program, but I found the interview format strange and one that made it difficult for me to assess if this was a good fit
Best food: UT Knoxville (not even close)
Worst food: GWU (not bad, just fried finger food)
Best organized: Emory managed to stay exactly on time thanks to the hard work of the coordinator
Worst organized: I arrived on time and had to wait 5 hours for my first interview at Ochsner (with only one interview day and 27 applicants, they should really have a morning and afternoon session) - great program though!
Best interview: Overall, UNC - the department basically shuts down and it's obvious the program puts a huge emphasis on the interview process
Worst interview: None that were noteworthy
Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: Scheduling 7 interviews in 9 days was a poor decision
Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course): The morning of the Ochsner interviews was hilarious and full of great stories from the night before - the southern boys really know how to party...can't wait for future SESAUAs!